Career advice: 'I want to work with new technologies!'

Ronald Pilcher
Varsity Brands CIO Ronald Pilcher
Ronald Pilcher

Title: CIO

Organization: Varsity Brands Inc.

Pilcher is this month's Premier 100 IT Leader, answering questions about the hunger for new technology, kicking off a career and getting back into the workforce after a layoff. If you have a question you'd like to pose to one of our Premier 100 IT Leaders, send it to and watch for this column each month.

I'm getting worn down by working in bare-bones IT. Are we ever going to get back to working with interesting new technologies? Be patient, my friend. Multiple new technologies are right around the corner. Take note of what's in the pipeline, and think about problems in your business that those emerging technologies could address. Remember that only technologies that truly help the business are worth our time. We are notorious in this industry for wanting it all, but having it all isn't always helpful.

I'll be graduating with a spanking-new computer science degree this spring. I've worked in tech support while I've been in school, but obviously I want to move beyond that. Which direction should I go, and what can I expect? The best choice would be in the engineering area. There is great demand in most of the larger engineering firms. This could consist of actual coding or system integration.

I've been a programmer for 18 years, but I was laid off last year. I've always kept up with developments; even with no income, I've been buying tech books and taking some training. After nine months of some interviews and no offers, I'm getting discouraged. Do I need to do something differently? I would not change my direction. I know it has to be very tough, but the market is looking a lot better in the past few months. Kick into overdrive and push your contact list, and if you are losing momentum from your current contact list, then go to local user community meetings. Most cities have some sort of a mix of these.


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